David believes that his passion for Cinema began during high school, when he was inspired by a viewing of Orson Welles’ CITIZEN KANE. "I knew that I wanted to become a filmmaker and somehow I had already taken the first step."
Majoring in Motion Pictures at UCLA, David gained hands on experience in Writing, Photographing, Directing and Editing, while studying every film he could find, from D.W. Griffiths' INTOLERANCE to Stanley Kubrick's 2001. Influenced by the European New Wave, he gained a command of the camera and began to pursue small independent features. He was usually hired as the Cinematographer / Editor, but found himself doing whatever was necessary, from treatments, scripts, budgets and production boards, to casting, crewing, storyboards, second unit and production supervising.
Achieving a reputation as a Director of Photography who delivered a quality look on a modest budget, earned David the attention of Clint Eastwood. "I consider the year that I worked with Clint, to be my Ph.D. in filmmaking... We had an excellent rapport from day one, because we both loved the films of John Ford and hated the thought of wasting any time or money." Their first feature together BRONCO BILLY, came in two and a half weeks under schedule, largely due to David’s lighting style, which saved the production over a million dollars. It also became one of the most critically acclaimed Clint Eastwood films ever, while their next feature ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN received the Academy of Country Music Award as Picture of the Year and was one of the top grossing films of the decade for Warner Brothers.
Later, David Photographed BLOODSPORT then Directed KICKBOXER. Both films combined cost under 5 million dollars, still they became martial arts classics, launched the career of Jean-Claude Van Damme and racked up astounding grosses worldwide.
After Directing episodic television, as well as the thrillers, TIME LAPSE with Roy Scheider, THE PROPHET'S GAME with Dennis Hopper and two "micro budget" High Def films, David admits to bringing a fist full of experience to the table. "I've worked with indigenous crews all over the world; from Sweden, Italy and Mexico, to Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Israel, Cape Town and Bulgaria, and believe that with today's technology, quality films can be made anywhere on the planet."
Currently, David is transitioning into academia by teaching at Chapman University, USC, UCLA and just completed a year at Chapman Singapore. His first textbook, The Citizen Kane Crash Course In Cinematography is available on Amazon.com. What’s on the horizon? “Writing more books, directing more HD features, teaching, consulting, checking out New Media and always looking for great material." Whether it's working on big budget studio features, small independent films, martial arts, urban thrillers, episodic television or the halls of academia, David's been there, done that and has the tee shirts.
His new mantra is: "Have director's finder & syllabi...will travel!"